Survey conducted by Harris Poll in early 2019 for NBAA, published by The Sherpa Report
There are many reasons to use private aircraft. The main general reasons that we hear most often are listed below. The specific pros and cons of the different forms of private aircraft travel are discussed in our articles on each travel type.
- Time Saving – this is one of the most significant reasons for using private aircraft. Depending on your program you can have an aircraft ready in just a few hours. You can arrive at the airport just minutes before your scheduled departure time, fly directly to your destination (without any layovers), make productive use of your time onboard, avoid overnight stays (saving hotel $ as well as time), avoid waiting in lines at the airport, land at over 5,000 airports in the US and so be closer to your destination. All of this can provide significant savings in both productive time and in dollars. Productivity – the time savings above provide significantly more productive time, both onboard and before and after your flight. You and your staff can make the most of the travel time to talk business or work with customers, suppliers or partners.
- Convenience – There are over 5,000 airports in the US that private planes can use (vs 500 airports for larger commercial aircraft). This means you can often land closer to your true destination. In the summer of 2006 the ban on liquids caused all sorts of inconveniences for people flying commercially, but private flyers avoided all this. Private planes also mean that you can travel with your special belongings such as instruments, sports gear, product samples or bring your pet in the cabin.
- Flexibility – Planes can be available at a few hours notice and can wait for you if you’re running late. It’s even possible to change flight plans in mid flight if necessary.
- Quality Of Service – Private planes provide luxury furnishings, plenty of space, individualized attention, and your preferred food and drinks can be ordered ahead of time.
- Family Time – spend more time with your friends and family by reducing travel time and not having to spend as many overnights away from home.
- Privacy – you can hold meetings and make productive use of your time, without being over heard. Your overall travel will also be far less visible when you’re on a private plane, so helping preserve the secrecy around important negotiations or deals.
- Reduced Stress – without the lines, waiting, lost luggage, transfers, delay concerns or security issues of commercial flights you’ll be a lot more relaxed.
- Image – a private plane projects a well run, efficient, successful individual or organization, that values time and can afford private air travel.
Smaller companies are more likely to be using business aircraft; 70% of flights were linked to companies with 500 or fewer employees. Those with more than 5,000 employees accounted for just 17% of flights.
Flexibility is cited as the primary reason to use private business aircraft as opposed to commercial flights. Fifty-two percent noted that regular commercial airlines could not accommodate their scheduling needs.
Owning a private plane means companies can go to many locations that are not serviced by commercial airlines. In past 6 months, 32% of respondents had flown to an airport that never had scheduled airline service. 42% had flown to an airport with infrequent or no scheduled airline service. This means they can fly into airports that are closer to their final destination.
Attractive to the business user is their flexibility with multi-leg trips. On average, forty two percent of flights involved multiple stops. For a small number (13%) of users, over 75% of their flights involved multiple legs.
Company employees find that using a private aircraft allows for more productive business time in-flight. Of those surveyed, only 42% said they were able to get work done during a commercial flight. However, 63% said they felt effective and productive on private flights. There may be a number of reasons for this including comfort, privacy and fewer interruptions from other passengers or flight attendant performing their duties.